or di·ar·rhoe·a


noun Pathology.

an intestinal disorder characterized by abnormal frequency and fluidity of fecal evacuations.

Origin of diarrhea

1350–1400; Middle English diaria < Late Latin diarrhoea < Greek diárrhoia a flowing through, equivalent to diarrho- (variant stem of diarrheîn to flow through) + -ia -ia
Related formsdi·ar·rhe·al, di·ar·rhe·ic, di·ar·rhet·ic [dahy-uh-ret-ik] /ˌdaɪ əˈrɛt ɪk/, di·ar·rhoe·al, di·ar·rhoe·ic, di·ar·rhoet·ic, adjectivean·ti·di·ar·rhe·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for diarrhoea

Historical Examples of diarrhoea

British Dictionary definitions for diarrhoea


esp US diarrhea


frequent and copious discharge of abnormally liquid faeces
Derived Formsdiarrhoeal, diarrhoeic, esp US diarrheal or diarrheic, adjective

Word Origin for diarrhoea

C16: from Late Latin, from Greek diarrhoia, from diarrhein to flow through, from dia- + rhein to flow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for diarrhoea

variant spelling of diarrhea (q.v.); see also oe.



late 14c., from Old French diarrie, from Late Latin diarrhoea, from Greek diarrhoia "diarrhea" (coined by Hippocrates), literally "a flowing through," from diarrhein "to flow through," from dia- "through" (see dia-) + rhein "to flow" (see rheum). Respelled 16c. from diarria on Latin model.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for diarrhoea



Excessive and frequent evacuation of watery feces.
Related formsdi′ar•rheal null null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for diarrhoea



Excessive and frequent evacuation of watery feces, usually a symptom of a gastrointestinal disorder. Severe, prolonged diarrhea can lead to dehydration.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for diarrhoea



The frequent passage of abnormally watery feces, which is a sign of illness.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.